Archive for the ‘Update’Category

Poynter's NewsU hits 100 mark

Taken by Flickr user, Global X

A digital toolkit

June 16th marked the 100th Training Tip of the Day for Poynter’s News University, an e-learning project. Using content from more than 150 online courses, NewsU sends daily tips via Twitter to people who want to learn journalism tools.

The daily tip project is part of a larger mission at NewsU, says NewsU Director Howard Finberg, to make training accessible to anyone. With webinars like Tools for Mobile Journalists and training packages like Telling Memorable Video Stories: A Poynter Tutorial Series, and funded by the Knight Foundation, the website offers a mixture of free and paid content.

“We never require a journalism membership to get into NewsU,” said Finberg. “We’ve found two groups of people, those interested in improving skills that journalists have, and those who are educators. We have the opportunity to influence people new to the profession.”

In other words, NewsU educates anyone and everyone how to be a journalist, such as this 52-year-old woman with a career in trucking:

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17

06 2010

YouTube brings video editing to the cloud

YouTube EditorYouTube has, once again, radically reduced the costs involved in creating and sharing video online.  It has released a web-based, video editing tool that is tightly integrated with its hosting services.  This further reduces the costs and complications of video-based citizen journalism.

While YouTube has been the primary place to share video online (they receive 24 hours of video every minute of every day), many people still use desktop-based tools to edit and compress their video before uploading.  This workflow carries two costs.  Obvious is the expense of software itself.  Some of these tools come pre-packaged with computers (Windows Movie Maker and iMovie), but others are expensive (Pinnacle and Final Cut Express).  Second, and more importantly, are the costs of owning hardware capable of editing video.  Working with HD video takes massive quantities of hard drive space and a fast CPU.

YouTube’s online editor changes all that.

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17

06 2010

New tool for citizen journalists

Let’s say you want to make an argument about public education in your hometown. Students have created a goofproof tool for discovering the breakdown of education levels. Use hard numbers from American Visualizer, and your case moves further from opinion and closer to fact. The same is available for race, housing, age and gender.

Sure, you could mine the U.S. Census Bureau yourself. But hunting for information on the U.S. Census Bureau website is parallel to asking for a headache.

American Visualizer Screenshot

http://americanvisualizer.com

This is simple. So simple ANYONE can figure it out. Sounds like citizen journalism to me.

Rich Gordon, blogger and professor at the Medill School of Journalism talks about the new tool in the PBS MediaShift Idea Lab. He goes into greater detail about the fusion of technology and journalism, but the most exciting thing about it is the tool’s immediacy and simplicity. Don’t believe me? Just do it. Let me know if you disagree.

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16

06 2010

Rushkoff: Tools and platforms don't make journalists

In a recent Neiman Report, Douglas Rushkoff takes a skeptical look at the changes in who is producing news online.  He clearly echoes some of the most common arguments against citizen journalism.

Rushkoff, who was a correspondent for Frontline’s Digital Nation series, charts the decline of media monarchs (“King George II, William Randolph Hearst, or even Rupert Murdoch”), and their replacement by amateurs who think their writing is to be “an unfiltered, pure gestalt of observation and self-expression.” The web, he argues, now prioritizes the individual’s immediate observation.

According to Rushkoff, the “gestalt” isn’t only not journalism, but a dangerous red herring.

…our misguided media revolutionaries are mistaking access to the tools for competency with the skills. Just because a kid now enjoys the typing skill and distribution network once exclusive to a professional journalist doesn’t mean he knows how to research, report or write. It’s as if a teenager who has played Guitar Hero got his hands on a real Stratocaster—and thinks he’s ready for an arena show.

The essay also comments on media ownership (that corporations still profit from individuals writing for free) and that those who have legitimate grievances with citizen-powered media are immediately dismissed as “elitists or Luddites.”

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16

06 2010

YouTube video sparks investigation

YouTube videos in Vancouver catch collapsing walls at a construction site, tumbling into the daily lives of pedestrians and cars. In the past few days since PSP92262 and others posted the videos on YouTube,  an investigation has halted the construction, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of views. Mainstream media has since picked up the story.

One local media, NOW, credits citizen journalism with these remarks, which we pruned from the entire text:

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15

06 2010

YouTube starts citizen journalism feed

June 18 2009 Protest in Iran

Citizen journalism has won a new, powerful editor. In fact, it might be the largest editor of all.

YouTube now curates a news feed to organize and showcase newsworthy videos uploaded on its site. The YouTube News Feed is a joint project with the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Starting this summer, the CitizenTube website says it will stream constant video and focus on three priorities: strong visuals, breaking news and unorthodox mediums.

This is great news for citizen journalism for two reasons.

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15

06 2010

The Guardian and "unhelpful" citizen journalism

The Guardian’s article on citizen journalism today reflects the reality facing traditional media. It might be as confusing as this article.

Without providing context for the history of the “citizen journalism” movement, the article hops around the globe pointing out empirical evidence of start-ups and later failures. It concludes by quoting a journalist who favors the non-profit model of news.

Perhaps most indictable is the comment about the label “citizen journalism” itself.

The “citizen journalism” label has been largely unhelpful. The most exciting developments now might be news, but the content is often closer to community activism. Many are finally beginning to tap into the growing resources of community tech tools, from FixMyStreet.com to a wave of civic-minded apps, such as those developed by Social Innovation Camp.

Evidence to support the “unhelpful” claim is missing in the article. Journalism requires both to be considered useful. Maybe this article could be coined “traditional media activism” to counter its description of  “community activism.”

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14

06 2010

NY Times rules out the "tweet"

NY Times’ standard editor has knocked “tweet” off its list of acceptable social media jargon. It’s an interesting tension between old and new definitions of culture, not unlike the infamous French ban of “e-mail.” Is it a protection from linguistic hegemony or an example of linguistic hubris?

As someone who is fortunate enough to still spend my weekdays working in the world of daily newspapers, I can respect what Corbett is allegedly trying to do — prevent his publication from alienating readers by avoiding “colloquialisms, neologisms and jargon.”

At the same time I can’t help but wonder if his point is moot.

Social media seems to be everywhere these days. If someone hasn’t already heard the word “tweet” refer to a Twitter post, update (or whatever you might call it) at least a half dozen times, they soon will.

Via PCWorld

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14

06 2010